Monday, October 20, 2014

Amy Ruttan & Signing with an Agent

(If you're looking for a post about the fabulous Lenny Lee, scroll down to the one below this one (or click here) ... after you've visited with Amy that is!!)

Please welcome Amy Ruttan to the blog today!

***

Why an agent was right for me.

First off I want to thank  Jemi Fraser for having me here today!

One of the most frequent questions I’ve been getting lately is why I decided to sign with an agent.
Before Harlequin, I published via eBook publishers. There was no need for an agent and then when I sold to Harlequin, I did that on my own without an agent.

In May 2014 I decided to pursue an agent. One I admired and had been following for some time. He knows Harlequin, he’s professional and I admire several of the authors he represents.

So again, why did I query him? I don’t technically need an agent for Harlequin. I had signed two contracts with Harlequin without an agent, but when I made the decision in May to query my agent it’s because I wanted my career path to go further.

I love Harlequin and I love writing for Medicals, but I have a specific career path in my head that I want to take. I still plan on writing for Medicals as long as they’ll have me, but I wanted more and the path I wanted to take …well I wanted an agent to help me down that path.

Signing with my agent was not a spur of the moment thing. I researched for a long time to see who might be the right fit. I say right fit because honestly you don’t know until you talk to them over the phone or meet them face-to-face.

I queried him and he requested partials from me, which he read and then we talked on the phone. He wanted to make sure that this is what I wanted from my writing career and he wanted to make sure we were on the same page. We were!

Publishing is a constantly moving and changing beast. I wanted someone to advocate for me, someone to help navigate me on the right path for my career and the brand I’ve been building for myself and I wanted an agent who loved my work.

I think an agent who believes in your work and really gets your voice will advocate the best for you.

And that’s basically why I signed with my agent. It really depends on you. Think about why you want to sign with an agent, because an agent can’t guarantee you sales, but they do open doors to some house who only take agented submissions.

Make sure you don’t sign with just any agent. Make sure you and your potential agent work well together and that the agent is reputable meaning that they’re a part of the AAR’s or follow their code of ethics (they don’t charge you for reading fees).

And an agent who is right for author A may not be right for author B. Make the decision and do the research yourself. Don’t let anyone else decide for you.


It all depends on the choices you want to make in your writing career, because each writer has a different road to walk. Not all paths are the same.


***

Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Amy fled the big city to settle down with the country boy of her dreams. When she's not furiously typing away at her computer, she's a mom to three children.
Life got in the way, and after the birth of her second child, she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a romance author.

Find her here:
Website       Twitter        Facebook

DARE SHE DATE AGAIN?
To love again…? 

Single mom and paramedic Samantha Doxtator has been living with a broken heart after losing her husband years ago. Now she's finally back on track and following her dream to become an air ambulance pilot…after training one last student—George Atavik!

Since nearly losing his life in a plane crash, George will not waste the second chance he's been given, and he won't deny the sparks flying between him and his new mentor. Does Samantha dare risk her own carefully guarded heart for another opportunity at happiness?

Read an Excerpt

Buy Links

Mills & Boon UK      Harlequin US     Dare She Date Again?http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=wwwnasdeanblo-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00JZFL5QOon Amazon Kindle      Mills & Boon Aust
Enter this Goodreads Giveaway to win signed copies!
 Enter this to win!
 Thanks so much, Amy! I love how you really researched and planned out your writing path. A great example for the rest of us! 
How about you, are you good at planning out your path?

Where's Lenny Lee???

Happy Birthday Lenny!!!

If you haven't met Lenny Lee yet, you're missing out. Lenny is 15 today and he is an amazing young man.

Despite some medical difficulties in his life, Lenny sparkles with wit and humor.

Lenny has been able to blog as much lately, but I think his birthday is a fabulous way for us to let him know we're thinking about him!

So join me in sending best wishes to Lenny!



Monday, October 13, 2014

Fleshing it Out

I'm over at From The Write Angle today talking about some tips for fleshing out an overly lean manuscript.

This is a new area for me as I used to be an over-writer but once I trimmed this draft, I was 15k short of my goal! The story is stronger, but not where it needs to be. Not yet.

Hope you'll pop on over and join the discussion - I need all the help I can get!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Anya Richards & The Long Haul

Please welcome Anya Richards to the blog today!

***

How many times have I said I’m giving up this writing gig? Too many to count. Sales slump? I’m done. Ideas seem silly? It’s over. The words won’t come? Clearly I’ve lost the knack.
Well… I’m still here ain’t I?

The truth is, if you have the need to tell a story, you really can’t give up. The tales bubbling in your head won’t let you. The drive to create won’t let you. But here’s the kicker…

There’s more to it.

Do you know “that guy” or “that girl”? The one who always has everyone around them riveted at parties, as they tell story after story about what they’ve done or heard? They’re storytellers of a type—a kind with a long and glorious history. They’re the troubadours of our time, and long after they’re gone people will say, “Do you remember that story so-and-so used to tell?” But no one will ever be able to tell that story the way they did. No one. And those stories you want to write down? No one will ever be able to tell them the way you can.

Yet, maybe you’re afraid to try. Maybe it’s not something you’ve ever done before and you think, “I may suck at it.”

Well, you might, but can I point something out to you? When you were a baby and tried to walk, I almost guarantee you sucked at it. You fell over, sat on your butt—probably hard—had to grab stuff to stop from tumbling over. Someone held your hands to help you up and give you some balance, but you fell over again once they let you go. Then one day, after stumbling, falling, crying and maybe even bleeding, you started walking on your own. Then you got stronger and, to your parents’ mingled pride and chagrin, started running. You never looked back after that. The same goes for everything we’ve had to learn—how to speak, do mathematics, draw—every- and anything.

So, don’t be afraid. The want is the thing. If you want to write, get started. Maybe you have a natural talent and the book will be awesome, you never know! But if you’re like the rest of us, it’ll need something more—a little help. When I started, people loved the stories themselves, but there were craft problems. I got critiques and took some writing courses and kept at it. I started getting “good’ rejections, those where the editors told me exactly why they wouldn’t acquire the stories, and that told me the areas I still needed to work on. Eventually I got that first “Yes” and I was walking! Twenty-plus yeses later, I still consider myself learning and hopefully growing…

And that leads to my last piece of advice…

Don’t stop. Don’t get stuck. Keep your mind open to the possibilities of growth and change. Keep moving forward instead of staying in one safe or known place. Keep going…and suddenly you’ll find yourself running the writing marathon, and winning.


Multi-published author Anya Richards lives with her husband, youngest kid, a mutt, and two cats that plot world domination one food bowl at a time. The humans support her writing while the animals see her preoccupation as a goad.

Insatiably curious and irreverent, Anya loves history, music, the sea and a good rum punch. To learn more drop by Anya’s website make friends with her on Facebook  or follow her on Twitter.

His seductive rhythm calls to the passionate soul hiding within…
Jane Rollins is anything but plain, but to keep her position as housekeeper to a wealthy family, she is content to hide her beauty behind a dull fa├žade. This deception has become second-nature to her—until dance master Sergio Fontini waltzes into her life.

While the other inhabitants of the house see him as a foreigner and beneath their notice, Jane sees strength, barely leashed power, and an aura of iron control—an irresistible, arousing combination.

Sergio sees through Jane’s disguise to the woman beneath, and the desires in her veiled gaze call to him like the utterly irresistible strains of a beautiful symphony. The circumstances couldn’t be worse, for seducing her will endanger both their livelihoods.

Yet there are lessons he cannot resist teaching her, steps of a dance that crescendos to her final surrender…

Product Warnings

A deliciously seductive Italian unmasks a supposedly respectable Victorian woman and leads her into a lust-filled pas de deux.

Buy Links


Bellissimahttp://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=wwwnasdeanblo-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00KE1EC2W on Amazon Kindle
Bellissimahttps://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2Fir-uk.amazon-adsystem.com%2Fe%2Fir%3Ft%3Dnade0a-21%26l%3Das2%26o%3D2%26a%3DB00KE1EC2W&container=blogger&gadget=a&rewriteMime=image%2F* Amazon UK

Enter to Win!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

***
Thanks Anya!

I love this advice. There are always, ALWAYS, going to be obstacles and down moments, but if we love the writing, we're going to keep at it! Are you in for the long haul?

Monday, September 29, 2014

People Watching - The Wedding Edition

I was out of town for a family wedding over the weekend. It was wonderful and everything a wedding should be - including unique.

As usual, I put my people watching skills into action and found lots of interesting quirks that may appear in future characters!

  • One of the self-proclaimed 'Crazy Aunts' who tapped couples on the shoulder all night, insisting they kiss on demand to show respect for the newlyweds 
  • The Grandfather who dressed identically to his grandson - right down to the cowboy boots, bow tie and shining bucking bronco belt buckle
  • The groomsman who decided it would be much more comfortable without a shirt
  • And the multiple elderly ladies who celebrated his choice. Loudly
  • The friend from out of town who crashed into a car on the way, brought 2 different shoes, and forget the engagement ring he was gong to give to his girlfriend that night
  • The young woman who wore orange (BRIGHT orange!) shoes because they DIDN'T match her outfit and she figured that would ensure no disasters for the couple on their special day
  • The young man who sighed lustily after one of the bridesmaids all night long. She never even looked his way ... which probably made her fiance happy
  • The granddaughter who answered the same questions from her grandfather (who suffers from Alzheimer's) all night and made sure he danced the night away when he thought she was his late wife

How about you? What interesting characters did you meet this weekend?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Brought to His Knees

If you're here looking for my entry into Alex J Cavanaugh's Undiscovered Treasures Blogfest, I posted a day early. Click here to take you there!




Adult content and giveaway today folks! If that's not your thing, I'll see you next time! :)

***
The Alpha male. Strong. In control. Letting no one and nothing rule him…until he meets the one, and all bets are off. The world tilts, the bed rocks, and suddenly that tough guy finds himself Brought to His Knees—in more ways than one.

This collection of ten hot to erotic novellas and one short erotic novel will take you on journeys of lust, love, and adventure, leave you breathless and quite possibly in need of a cold shower.

Dark Wolf Enterprises
Murder, mayhem and imprinting with a hot wolf shifter… And they say being an accountant is boring.

Blurb:
The big break Trudy Hollander’s small accounting firm needs has finally arrived, but unfortunately it comes with murder, mayhem and Kristof Farkas, a man she just can’t seem to resist. Even worse, Kristof is the CFO of Dark Wolf Enterprises—the one person who can pull the plug on the job that will take her company to the next level.
And then there are the assassins who can jump from three stories up and still be able to run away…
Kristof has no intention of giving in to his inner wolf and claiming Trudy. She’s human. Too fragile to withstand being a shifter’s mate. But the need to protect her is stronger than his resolve, and his desire is more powerful yet. He’ll fight with everything he has to keep her safe, both from those who would hurt her, and from himself.


Building Bridges
A vet tech and a lone wolf rancher ride out a sudden storm, but can they weather the emotions they stir up in each other...

Blurb:
Vet tech Molly has the hots for new rancher William, even though he’s ornery and a bit of a lone wolf. She’s willing to take a chance and enjoy a stolen moment of passion in his arms, but she’s having doubts about leaving everything she knows behind to follow her dream.
William has saved up for years to finally get his grandfather’s ranch up and running again. Escaping into the foothills of Alberta is a good place to hide from the ghosts of his past. All he wants is to be left alone, but that’s kind of hard when a sexy vet tech seems to be always around.
After a sudden storm during an Indian summer forces them indoors, the temperature inside the cabin begins to rise. William helps Molly see that her dream is worth pursuing while she shows him maybe he doesn’t have to be alone after all. As the temperature plummets William gives Molly one ride she’ll never forget.



Three Strikes
Two lonely men. One secret affair. Irresistible passion that will push them both to the breaking point, and beyond.

Blurb:
A knife attack left ex-Jamaican Posse member Vincent Williams scarred and also made him re-evaluate his life. He’s out of the gang and also the closet but lonely, yet to meet a man who’s interested in more than a one-and-done, a brief sexual encounter.
Because of his career as a police officer, Sergeant Kyle Pictou is afraid of coming out. Normally he doesn’t play close to home, but something about Vincent compels him to take a chance. It’s just sex, after all. Yet, as desire evolves into friendship and seemingly boundless passion, it’s Kyle who’s left wanting more—though he knows he can’t have it.


A Cowboy’s Seduction
One exhausted cowboy + One uptight account x A tropical resort = A hot seduction. But who is seducing whom?

Blurb:
Brock Wade has raised his brothers and sister since their parents’ deaths fourteen years ago. All work and no vacation can make a cowboy a tad grumpy, or at least that’s what his family and crew believe. Brock wants to spend the two weeks before Christmas working as usual. Instead he’s forced by his siblings to take a vacation to the Sand Castle Resort…a vacation he doesn’t want to a Caribbean resort he’s never heard of. He’s sure he’ll be miserable the whole time.
Natalie Diamond is dreaming of getting out of icy Memphis and down to her parents’ oceanfront condo for a couple of weeks of rest and warmth. When her parents accept an out-of-town invitation, she’s sure she’ll be stuck at home watching it sleet and snow. But instead of leaving Natalie shivering, her parents send her on an all-expense paid trip to the Sand Castle Resort.
A casual friendship over drinks rapidly evolves into a hot seduction, which is great until feelings get involved. When vacation is over, Brock and Natalie are forced to make the difficult decision to walk away or see where life might lead them.
But falling in love in two weeks isn’t possible. Right?



Born to Sin
A tomboy in love makes a desperate attempt to seduce her best friend and succeeds beyond her wildest dreams. But this Alpha male isn’t easily tamed and has secrets that could very well tear them apart.

Blurb:
Just another one of the guys. That’s how Taylor Guillory has always been treated in her hometown of Grand Terre, Louisiana. And for the most part she never minded until Sinclair “Sin” Rivas opened up shop in town. With his dangerous eyes and legendary sex god status, Sin is so far out of her league, but that doesn’t stop Taylor from falling in love with the impossible man, or doing something so daring and unlike her for the chance to be with him.
Knowing he’s no good for her, Sin has stayed far away from Taylor since the day she walked into his shop, but when the little spitfire propositions him in the middle of the bar, there’s no way he’ll be able to walk away from the temptation. But his one-night only rule when it comes to women is challenged by the pleasure they experience, making him think that he might be a one-woman man after all.
But Sin has secrets that could very well destroy anything they forge together. Can a man born of sin find redemption in the arms of a woman just as tough as any man?


The Sound of Your Name
Their silent erotic encounters change his luck and awaken his soul, but secrets and cowboy superstitions can only keep them apart.

Blurb:
Ellie Donovan couldn’t care less about pro bull riders, until she’s sent out on the circuit to do a story about them for Modern Luxury magazine. She’d done many things to get a great story, but pimping herself out to a cowboy who thinks she’s the only thing keeping him on track for the gold buckle isn’t one of them. Being sexy Brody’s good luck charm isn’t exactly a hardship—until she discovers she doesn’t want it to end.
Brody Cameron can’t help bowing to cowboy superstition on the night he should have lost his spot on the pro circuit, when a secret tryst with a pretty stranger changes his luck, and his heart, forever. Caught between the love he wants and the money his family needs, Brody can’t share the truth with Ellie and risk losing his shot at the big money.
But when Cameron family secrets are exposed, and a jealous rival threatens to tear them apart, can Ellie and Brody break their silence without breaking each other’s hearts?



Beneath the Pages
One wicked night with her did nothing but whet his appetite. Now he’ll settle for nothing less than her complete submission.

Blurb:
Acacia owns and runs Fame, one of the hottest celebrity magazines in the country. She survives on convincing the rich and famous to reveal things they would normally do anything to keep hidden. She lives, eats and breathes the magazine. Day in and day out. She has no life, nothing to keep in the dark. Nothing but the night she gave herself over to the one man she never should have wanted.
Radigan, the most sought after actor in Hollywood, wants her again, and won’t take no for an answer. He had her for one night. Several hours of the best sex of his entire life, but she was gone the next morning before the sun had fully risen. His attempts to contact her have gone unanswered. Everything he’s tried so far has been a miserable failure. But he finally knows what to do to slip beneath the pages of her heart.
This time he’s playing for keeps and the exclusive rights to her body, heart and soul.


Cruising for Love
A vacation cruise comes with surprises—like the BDSM theme and her high school love, the one man she can’t resist.

Blurb:
When Andi Greene heads out on a cruise, she’s pumped for a fun week of sun bathing and chilling with her best friend. Little does she know her best friend has a number of surprises in store. The first is the cruise’s theme of bondage and domination. The other? Ship’s doctor Jonah Coleman, Andi’s first love, her high school boyfriend—the boy she thought she’d marry before he moved across the country and eventually dropped her cold. But there’s nothing cold about their reunion. Instead sparks fly, and Andi’s relaxing cruise seems set to turn into a week of hot loving.

Jonah can’t believe he’s getting a second chance with Andi—a grown-up Andi who might need more than he knows how to give. But he’s willing to put everything on the line to find out if the heat between them is just the remnants of teenage love or something more. And even though he has to let her go again, he’s determined this time she’ll never forget him.



Whipped
A scalding attraction. An irresistible passion. A pity she’s the one woman he can never have…

Blurb:
Dane Coulter is mourning the loss of his best friend, fellow Special Ops buddy, Cody. Oh, Cody didn’t die. It’s worse. He’s getting married. Cody is, in Dane’s opinion,whipped.

Dane swears he will never suffer the same fate. But when he meets a woman who can take all his dominant loving and beg for more, he realizes he may have met his match. It’s a damn shame she’s the one woman in the world his man-code deems untouchable…his best friend’s sister.


Chief Sin
A taste of Sin isn’t enough. Instead she wants all of him, including the heart she once broke.

Blurb:
Mavis Tanem has the world at her feet. She’s young, wealthy, and independent, yet none of that means anything. Years of seeking revenge against her father have left her cold and hard. There’s no place in her life for softness—for love. Yet when her brother goes missing she’s forced to go back to where it all started. And back to Bowie Sinet, the man she broke.
The devil was back in Tanem, Texas and Bowie is ready for the smart-mouthed and sexy as hell woman who’d torn his heart to pieces. As sheriff he’s used his handcuffs for a lot, but what he wants to do with them and Mavis might just be against the law, in more ways than one.
A single night is too much and yet not enough for either of them. They both know it’s too late to change the past, but maybe together they can exorcise the ghosts that haunt them, and find some peace.


Make Me Surrender
When it comes to two of the hottest guys in town, she has a proposition…to win their attention, passion, hearts.

Blurb:
For over a year, Mercy’s had her eye on Travis and Dutch, two of the hottest guys on the Oregon coast. Dark and dangerously virile, Travis owns a saloon that caters to bikers. Dutch looks like one, right down to his impressive tats, and operates a motorcycle repair shop on the premises.
When a position opens in the saloon’s kitchen, Mercy sees a way to be near these sinfully sexy men, wanting the job and lodging, her cabin snuggled between theirs.
Travis isn’t so sure about having Mercy nearby. She’s deliciously curvy, but too nice. He’s into temporary fun. To Dutch, forever is a dirty word.
Imagine their surprise when sweet little Mercy encourages wild nights of carnal pleasure with a dash of bondage and spanking…followed by friendship and tenderness.
Before she’s through, these tough guys won’t know what hit them.

***
If this sounds like something you'd enjoy, fill in the Rafflecopter below!

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Undiscovered Treasure: Kalle Mattson

I'm participating a day early in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Underrated Treasures Blogfest. I'm early because I've got a guest popping in tomorrow (hope you'll come back and visit for that as well!)


I'd like to talk about Kalle Mattson. He's an amazing young Canadian talent. I came across Kalle's music through a family connection and he's an outstanding young man as well as a talented singer/songwriter. Not only are his songs entertaining, but there's always another layer in there as well.

One of my favourites is Thick as Thieves.



This video Hurt People Hurt People is also awesome!



Hope you enjoyed! If you click on Kalle's website, you can see & hear & learn a whole lot more!

And don't forget to visit Alex tomorrow to find the links to all the other participants.